Alina Zagitova: Eteri Tutberidze lets the athletes to take the decision themselves
Interview with Alina Zagitova.
Alina, do you allow yourself to relax at gala or you consider it work?
– I want to show everything on maximum, but at the same time to have fun.
What do you think about past Grand Prix?
– I am satisfied with my performances.
Both in short and free programs?
– I’m less satisfied with the free program, there’s still something to work on. At the competitions I was worried. Still, this is a big responsibility. But when the audience began to support me, I realized that I wasn’t skating alone – the audience was also jumping with me. These are unreal feelings that give strength, both moral and physical.
Did you coach Eteri Tutberidze told you anything about your performance?
– She told. But I won’t tell what exactly.
Were these some critical comments or just a little hints?
– No. Now I will come to practice, I think she will say something more about my performances.
Did she scold you?
What did you think when you failed the triple flip in the free program?
– I thought “I’m screwed.” Then I realized that I needed to skate to the end and do everything better to compensate this flip with other elements.
Did this happen due to loss of concentration?
– It was the last jump, so I relaxed a bit. After all, I have already done all the most difficult jumps, and I always do this flip at training sessions without mistakes. Just the head relaxed a little. It happens.
Which moments in your “Carmen” are your favorite and which are the most difficult?
– Every moment is my favorite because I do them with my soul. On each of them we work with the coaches. I understand what I do. I like my program, there is no particular favorite element. You need to love everything so that they work out well.
Carmen is a program about passions, and you also have an image of Lara Croft in the gala program, which causes associations with Angelina Jolie. Do you think that you’re mature enough for these images and what helps you to show them?
– This is a new image for me, it’s necessary to develop. Therefore, Eteri Georgievna and Daniil Markovich give me different programs. Because of this, I develop in terms of choreography. And this is a kind of experience that an athlete should have.
Bright lips, tight suit. How do you feel about the fact that you are now perceived not only as an athlete, but also as a sexy woman, who shows beautiful skating?
– I like it when they say that. We have such kind of sport.
What was the last cultural event you attended?
– It was a long time ago. Even before the last New Year, I was in the theater at Swan Lake. I think this was the only time I have been to the theater. But I want to visit it more, go to watch “Carmen”. I’m very interested.
What is Carmen for you?
– This is my program, I show my artistic image there. Every person has a character – good, evil, gentle. It happens that I want to shout. Also in this program, somewhere I’m tough, somewhere I show the strength of my character.
Watching the video about your home life, where the cat is against your dog and then the cat runs to the chinchilla … It seems that you have a crazy house at home. What is happening with your pets?
– Now they have become calmer, Masaru guards the cat. Chinchilla is still with my relatives, because there are more and more stuffed animals in our apartment and it becomes smaller. Not enough space. But when I’ll move finally (to another apartment), I’ll take a chinchilla back.
With so many toys probably there’s no place to sleep?
– Yes, I think that stuffed animals will sleep on the couch, and I on the floor (laughs). There are some toys, especially Japanese ones, which I can’t leave, and take them. Sister takes something. Some I give to children with disabilities.
All fans are waiting for all Russian girls to meet on the same ice. Do you think about it and are you aware of how Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and Evgenia Medvedeva performed?
– I probably refuse to answer. I don’t think about anything, because I need to think about myself.
You confessed that before the competition you try to be alone, because everyone irritates you. What happens after the competition?
– Nobody irritates. (laughs)
After unsuccessful competitions, such as the last world championship, which words do you need?
– After (World Championships) I went to the hotel room, took a drink that I usually shouldn’t drink, took a chocolate bar and sat watching tv show. And sobbed. Then calmed down.
Can you name the drink?
– Of course not. Just soda. I shouldn’t drink it, but at the end of the season it is not so important to keep shape. But then I ran to spend the calories I ate.
All the specialists are amazed that you were able not to make a pause in your career and didn’t lose in the level of skating after a difficult and successful Olympics season. How did you decide to continue your career, was there a question about taking a pause?
– Of course, I wanted to continue, because many said: well, that’s all, she won the Olympics, she can quit … But this, on the contrary, motivated me. In that regard, Eteri Georgievna helped me, she helped me not to relax, to get myself together, because after the World Championships hit me pretty hard. What will I do next? There were so many thoughts that went away.
So there was an idea to skip the season?
– Of course not.
How was this dialogue with Tutberidze? Did she say tough that’s necessary to continue? Or did she ask you how you feel, how ready are you?
– Eteri Georgievna lets the athletes to take the decision themselves. She can only help morally, say the right words, to motivate. After talking with her, I always have a motivation to go further.
You have complicated your program with transitions a lot. How did you work on that and how difficult was it?
– Due to changes in the rules now all the athletes are focusing on these complex transitions after landings. It has a very big role now, and I work on every element. They give me the task to do this, and I try to do it without thinking about complexity.
What do you think about new judging system? What are the pros and cons?
– Now they judge pretty strictly. If you make even a small mistake on the landing, you got -2, -1. Well, you can’t do anything about it.
Which quads do you do in training?
– No, I don’t do them yet, because, first of all, it is very traumatic. And since I had a slightly different body, now I have to cope with the jumps I have and work on them so they look as before.
But do you plan? Maybe after this season.
– Perhaps. I can’t promise anything.
Are the mistakes on the jumps connected, first of all, with the fact that you grew up? Or is there some kind of psychological moment?
– Probably, also psychological a little bit. I am a person who does not pay attention to anything, doesn’t look for excuses. It happened and it is my fault. As for mistakes, I don’t know, probably, just some kind of a failure in the system.
Is there any praise which are especially pleasant?
– When Eteri Georgievna praises me. Because she rarely praises.
Does Daniil Gleichengauz often praise you?
– More often.